AMSL Aero, founded by a husband and wife, is expanding its green aviation endeavours after attracting almost half the funding it needs to demonstrate a hydrogen-powered vertical take off aircraft from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The $10.86 million (USD 6.95 million) hydrogen aircraft project follows AMSL’s successful demonstration of a similar, though battery-only aircraft, which it has dubbed Vertiia.
By integrating a hydrogen fuel cell system into the Vertiia aircraft the company says it will greatly expand the aircraft’s range, moving it from around 250 km to as much as 1000 km. With such a range, the aircraft could then be used in regional Australia for emergency services, including air ambulance, freight and transport. The company says the aircraft’s configuration could also be useful in specialised situations, including fighting bushfires.
The ARENA grant, backed by the federal government, will support AMSL’s development and certification activities for the aircraft, and is anticipated to culminate in a successful demonstration with a test flight of the prototype. The company is aiming for a demonstration in 2025, and potentially commercial availability in 2026.
The move into using hydrogen as a fuel will not only increase the range of the Vertiia aircraft, it will also allow it to refuel much faster, making it more practical and economical.
AMSL Aero was founded in 2017 and is based at Sydney’s Bankstown Airport. The investment in the company is ARENA’s first foray into hydrogen powered aviation.
The aviation sector is responsible for around 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with nearly a fifth coming from short haul flights under 1000km.
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